Brian McCann rejected the Chicago Cubs offer from this past offseason for over $2 million in order to return to the Atlanta Braves, according to a recent report ($) by The Athletic‘s David O’Brien. The decision was not motivated by money, as the grizzled backstop simply preferred to rejoin the team that drafted him in order to guide their young core to a World Series.
McCann would’ve been an interesting fit with the Cubs because he has a reputation for being a buzzkill. Just google “Brian McCann fun” and you’ll be greeted with dozens of links describing the catcher as such. Take, for example, FanGraph’s title “Brian McCann: Fun Police.” At the same time, McCann would’ve filled the leadership needs Theo Epstein and Jon Lester have openly discussed.
With this report about McCann and another one from Patrick Mooney ($) indicating the Cubs’ interest in Martin Maldonado, it appears that the team was at least exploring upgrades to Victor Caratini and was willing to spend a decent amount to do so. Ultimately, McCann picked the Braves early in the offseason and the Cubs ran out of money by the time Maldonado signed with the Royals.
The Cubs are still in search of additional pitching depth, even though they’re comfortable rolling with Caratini as the primary backup for the time being. And as Mooney notes, Maldonado’s short deal with a rebuilding team could make him a logical trade target come July.